Orams Case: Thursday morning 12th November

oramsMorning Session
Counsel for the Orams introduced the two new points of “public policy” and “appearance of bias” at the ECJ.  Mr A’s counsel interrupted to raise objection to admissibility of new late evidence. Public  policy is allowed under section 34, a GB court can reject the ECJ ruling on the grounds that it’s contrary to GB public policy. He also claimed that it was counter to EU Commission public policy because it prejudices the peace process. He claimed that GB/EU Commission public policy was to support the peace process.

He accused the ECJ of liberal interpretations and picking and choosing which questions to answer. He claimed that the Advocate General’s opinion didn’t refer to EC Commission public policy. They also claimed that the President of the ECJ, Mr Scouris, was prejudiced by the receipt of an honour from President Papadopolous  which may lead to “an appearance of bias”. He referred to two occasions when he claims Mr Scouris visited Cyprus about  which a “fair-minded observer would be concerned”.

He emphasised the political importance of the case and the “importance of preserving the dynamics of the peace process.” He referred to a letter from President Talat in support, referring to him as “President of the TRNC” which Mr A objected and the judges supported this objection. The Presiding Judge then warned of the danger of expanding matters into a political pursuit.

The Orams counsel said that the UN seemed to support the idea that litigation would be harmful to the peace process but the Presiding judge wasn’t happy with this saying that he wasn’t convinced by this argument. The Judge asked if “courts should stop operating if there is a peace process?”

In the afternoon the Orams will move on to the role of the Property Commission and they intend to introduce a letter from Baroness Kinnock, a Minister at the GB FCO. They will also introduce the expert opinion of Professor Hardy concerning the impact of the ECJ judgement on the peace process.

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